Friday, December 2, 2011

US given 15 days to close Shamsi Airbase

ISLAMABAD: The Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) in its emergency meeting chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Saturday evening reiterated the resolve of the Pakistani people and Armed Forces to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity at all costs.

The meeting held here at the Prime Minister House was attended by federal ministers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Services Chiefs and members of the DCC.

In accordance with the resolution of the Joint Session of the Parliament of May 14, 2011, the DCC decided to close with immediate effect the NATO/ISAF logistics supply lines. The DCC also decided to ask the United States (US) to vacate the Shamsi Airbase within 15 days.

The DCC decided that the government will revisit and undertake a complete review of all programmes, activities and cooperative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence, according to a statement issued from the Prime Minister House after the DCC meeting.

The meeting strongly condemned the attack by NATO/ISAF aircraft on Pakistani border posts in the Mohmand Agency which has resulted in the loss of precious lives of officers and men of Pakistan Army and injuries to several.

The DCC expressed heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the families of brave soldiers who fought valiantly and embraced Shahadat, and also prayed for the early recovery of injured.

The prime minister will take the Parliament into confidence on the whole range of measures regarding matters relating to Pakistan’s future cooperation with US/NATO/ISAF, in the near future.

The DCC noted that strong protests had been lodged with the United States and at NATO Headquarters in Brussels conveying in the strongest possible terms Pakistan’s condemnation of these attacks, which constituted breach of sovereignty, were violative of international law and had gravely dented the fundamental basis of Pakistan’s cooperation with NATO/ISAF against militancy and terror.

The DCC also noted that NATO/ISAF attacks were also violative of their mandate, which was confined to Afghanistan. Pakistan had clearly conveyed to US/NATO/ISAF its red lines which constituted an integral element of Pakistan’s cooperation that was based on a partnership approach.

The attack on Pakistan Army border posts is totally unacceptable and warrants an effective national response, the DCC added.

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